Childish Gambino Says It’s Not His Place to Explain “This Is America”



There’s a lot to dissect in Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” music video. Between all the historical references and surreal mix of violent and joyous imagery, it’s not surprising that many people have continuously revisited the visual in an attempt to find additional layers of meaning. Yes, there are the obvious allusions to race issues, America’s devotion to guns, and superficial distractions; however, according to Gambino’s creative director Ibra Ake, their approach wasn’t as “cerebral or calculated” as some writers think; their main intention was simply to “normalize” the black experience.

“As creators who are kind of marginalized with our voice, we try to make stuff in a vacuum in a way where we’re not influenced by what was made before us, which usually—in the media specifically— comes from a white world and a white infrastructure or a system that is controlled by white people,” Ake said in a recent interview with WNYC’s The Takeaway. “So even with this video, we kind of reduced it to a feeling—a very black feeling, a very violent feeling, but also a very fun feeling.”

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34 Comments

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  1. I think the setting of the warehouse went over people heads….. the Industrial Complex and also that these events are churned out as if it comes through a factory….. which it does.

    News Media & Social Media

  2. I agree he should not explain it because if he came out and said it wasn't as deep as everyone has made it out to be folk would be very butthurt and tear him down. Also art is about the interpretation and perspective of the people viewing it. We have a huge Picasso statue in downtown Chicago and everyone has their perspective on what it is but in truth we still don't know. Lol

  3. Because he's still guilty for being an entertainer. You mean, a puppet showing you he's a puppet, is still that. He's just conscious of it. If you needed Gambino to show you that America is what you seen, I feel bad for you.

  4. I think people are paying way more attention to the video than the lyrics WITH the video.
    I interpret the song and video as the black & hip hop community being more preoccupied with and glorifying looking fly, partying, toting guns, dealing & selling drugs–
    ("look what I'm whippin up"/"I'm so cold"/"I'm so dope"/"Look how I'm geekin out"/"I'm so fly"/"I'm so Gucci"/'I'm so pretty"/"Watch me move"/"Hunnid bands, hunnid bands, hunnid bands"/"Contraband, contraband, contraband")
    –than they are with the issues that are plaguing the communities (the various things going on in the background and throughout the video).

  5. I think that's bullshit if he have something to say then say it, don't make a video and tell people to decide for themselves what it means have you heard some of the things people have been assuming about this video? C'mon man!

  6. Im sorry but doesnt every record label feel like the avengers anyway, everything has to be assembled and in line to get the audience and fans attention, someone correct me if im wrong

  7. This video shows that he doesn't like being in America and he is a terrorist so get the hell out of here hip hop and R&B needs to go transgender brainwashing from rap music is not needed anymore

  8. i get that he wants people to think for themselves and just really try to interpret things in their own way but like when he has a strong message he truly believes in i think it’s important to affirm the points and messages behind his art to make sure the right message is getting to his audience. but i also see how art can be meant to be interpreted in many ways so maybe he doesn’t want to confine people to take only a specific set of messages from the video. it’d be nice to understand his perspective and thought process behind everything though. but truly amazing video and song

  9. He says this because everyone is making way too big of a deal out of this mediocre song/video and he knows if he just lets morons continue to make way too big a deal out of it he will benefit greatly. You are all retarded sheep and Americas reaction to this video only proves that blacks(and the white left) are despratly looking for racism or a black vs white narrative in anything and everything they can. Bunch of brain damaged closet racist babies.

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